In this post I’m continuing with my discussion of magical creatures in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and their representation in LEGO. This time I dive (literary) into the Great Lake, the big lake next to Hogwarts, to see what I can find out about the Merpeople.
The Great Lake next to Hogwarts may look like a typical Scottish Loch, but it is full of both strange and magical creatures, including a giant squid and Grindylows. But it also has a large colony of Merpeople, as we learn in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
To complete the first task of the Tri-wizard tournament, Harry must retrieve a golden egg from a dragons nest. He succeeds and is told the egg contains a clue to what the next task is. Opening it, it however just emits a loud terrible screeching noise.
Harry has months to work on the clue, but is – not unlike me – a master of procrastination and suddenly find himself short on time.
With a little bit of help…
Luckily, quite a few are willing to help Harry along. Firstly, fellow Tri-wizard tournament contestant Cedric Diggory suggests studying the egg in a bathroom. Hesitant to use any help from Cedric initially, Harry – due to the lack of progress otherwise – ultimately one night makes his way to the Prefects bathroom.
The prefects bathroom is luxurious, with a large pool, and a picture of a mermaid (as per the book – in the movie the mermaid is on the stained glass window). This room was for the first time included in the Hogwarts Clocktower set in 2019.
Not knowing what to do once in there, he get a hint from Moaning Myrtle who has been hiding on one of the taps. She suggests he listens to it under water. And once he opens it and listens to it under water, the screeching noise turns into a song:
‘Come seek us where our voices sound,
We cannot sing above the ground,
And while you’re searching, ponder this:
We’ve taken what you’ll sorely miss,
An hour long you’ll have to look,
And to recover what we took,
But past an hour – the prospect’s black
Too late, it’s gone, it won’t come back.’
With some further hints from Moaning Myrtle, he realises he’ll have to retrieve something from the Merpeople and that he therefore has to find a way to stay under water for up to one hour.
In the remaining days before the task, Ron and Hermoine help him searching for a spell or potion that can make him survive under water for an hour, but without success.
Luckily, Dobby helps him out handing him a handful of gillyweed literally in the last minute before the task. Eating the gillyweed makes him grow gills and allows him to breath underwater.
The task starts, and once under water to retrieve Ron, he’s somewhat lost. Once again, help is near and he gets some helpful directions from Moaning Myrtle and soon met the first Merpeople.
The merpeople had greyish skins and long, wild, dark green hair. Their eyes were yellow, as were their broken teeth, and they wore thick ropes of pebbles around their necks. They leered at Harry as he swam past; one or two of them emerged from their caves to watch him better, their powerful silver fishtails beating the water, spears clutched in their hands.
Merpeople in LEGO
The Merpeople feature in only one LEGO set, the Rescue from the Merpeople (set 4762) from 2005. Each set only included one, so they are quite rare now.
The photos below show the Merpeople figure in closeup both from the front and back. The greyish skin and yellow eyes are just as per the book, but the hair is dark red rather than green (which does give a nice contrast, but is not really in accordance with the books). Also, the light flesh hands look odd when the head and body otherwise is grey.
An Underwater City
Harry continued his search for Ron now within the Merpeople colony.
… soon the dwellings became more numerous; there were gardens of weed around some of them, and he even saw a pet Grindylow tied to a stake outside one door.
Finally he find the equivalent to a town square in the colony where the four hostages, one for each Tri-wizard tournament contestant, have been tied while in a magical sleep.
The Merpeople observe him till he tries to free Hermoine as well (who were to be rescued by Viktor Krum). Then they try to stop him.
Harry, Victor, Ron and Hermione are all included in the 2005 LEGO set in addition to the Merpeople figure.
Below I’ve expanded the scene with more Merpeople but also Gabrielle, the little sister of Fleur Delacour, who was included (with a sleepy face) in Beauxbatons’ Carriage: Arrival at Hogwarts (set 75958) and was the hostage Fleur Delacour should free. The last of the four hostages is Cho Chang, to be freed by Cedric Diggory, but she’s not available in a sleepy version yet.
As a final note, while the Merpeople generally appear vicious, once the task was over, they swam along with Harry on the surface, smiling. So they appear to have a more human side as well.
That is what there was to tell about the Merpeople. More stories about magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe can be found on this page.